Freshman William Wilson entered, and won, a contest staged by Congressman Mike Honda. The challenge was to submit an essay detailing how to reform the educational system or how to create job growth and improve the economy. William submitted an essay on educational reform and won the contest.
As stated by one of Congressman Honda’s advisers, “The Congressman received a high volume of requests for his ticket application” and “was impressed with William’s creative idea.” The prize included two tickets to the 57th Presidential Inauguration Ceremony of President Barack Obama. Congratulations, William!
William Wilson's winning essay:
Dear Congressman Honda:
I think that in order to keep America competitive in the new world economy, our highest priority must be for the future; and the future of humankind lies in its children. Our top priority must be to give the children of America a solid, thorough education.
However, in order to achieve this goal, our current system requires a severe revamp. Our education system hires teachers that, whether good or bad, are essentially non-dischargeable, so that there is little to no motivation for some of these teachers to expend effort on teaching. These teachers are usually hired by public schools, and this discourages parents from sending their children to these schools, resulting in a loss of funding and a downward spiral. In order to ensure our children’s education, we must be able to
1. Ensure that our educators are up to the task.
2. Attract teachers who are well trained and suitable for the job of educating children of any age.
3. Identify struggling students and be able to give them help in whatever subject they require.
These struggling students must be helped to understand any concept that they are struggling with; however, they must not be simply given a “free ride,” so to speak. These struggling students cannot be helped with their understanding of their schoolwork by having it done for them; instead, put their work in terms that they can understand without too much difficulty, thus dividing up complicated assignments into small, easily understandable chunks. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways, including the hiring of teachers competent in teaching large classes and individual students, and a program designed to encourage advanced students to tutor laggards, most likely using some form of reward system for those whose pupils advance the most.
Finally, the system itself must be changed. Our school system is designed to reward those with logical, linear thinking; we focus on teaching the answers to problems with only one answer. This is fine, in a logical line of work; however, for the most part, life is NOT linear. We must combine the system that we already have with a new system, one that focuses on creativity and solving problems without a single definite answer. Literature, ethics, psychology; all of these are fields which do not have a single definite answer. Yet our system of schooling teaches as though they do. This must change.
We must increase our levels of creativity and innovation, in addition to linear mathematics and logic, in order to form an education system that produces well-rounded, inventive, and above all, happy adults. This is the American dream; a world in which innovation and logic walk hand in hand, in which freedom abounds and all are educated enough, creative enough, ambitious enough, to seek true happiness, and to find it.
-William Zhao Wilson, 9th Grade, Stevenson School, Proud Citizen of The United States of America